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Re: scope - fluff or truly useful in the midterm? Opinions please!


From: Bourne, Sarah (ITD)
Date: Jun 25, 2012 11:49AM


Scope is great for simple (data) tables, where there is no more than level of column headers and/or row headers. For instance, a simple table could have a single row of column headers with a column scope, or it could also have a single column of row header with a row scope.

As soon as you add another level of headers, the headers/ID method is the only one that works consistently. These more complex tables could, for instance, have a row of headers such as years, that span the columns in the next row of months in each year.

My recommendation to web authors is to convert complex tables into simple tables whenever possible. That may mean making a series of separate tables, or, in my example above, adding the year to the month header. They can then use the easier scope method. In almost all cases, this ends up making the tables easier to read and comprehend for everybody.


Sarah E. Bourne
Director of Assistive Technology &
Mass.Gov Chief Technology Strategist
Information Technology Division
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
1 Ashburton Pl. rm 1601 Boston MA 02108